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This chart shows the effect on hospital activity of a telehealth intervention conducted as part of the Department of Health's Whole System Demonstrator trial – believed to be the largest ever trial of telehealth to date. As part of the evaluation of the trial, the Nuffield Trust examined the impact of telehealth on the trial participants' use of hospital care and on their mortality.
This chart combines figures 3 (emergency admissions) and 5 (A&E visits) from the Nuffield Trust research summary: The impact of telehealth on use of hospital care and mortality (June 2012) by Adam Steventon and Martin Bardsley. The full findings of the Nuffield Trust strand of the evaluation have published been in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
This chart shows that following the start of the trial emergency admissions increased for the intervention group. After this initial increase, admission rates began to converge, though they remained lower for intervention patients. Our research showed however, that when adjusted for patients' baseline characteristics, the level of difference was not quite statistically significant.
To find out more about our work in this area, visit the dedicated project page: The impact of telehealth and telecare: evaluation of the Whole System Demonstrator project.